There are several things that could make our worship to God be without value. What a scary thought! What are those things? Matthew 15:8,9 mentions one thing -“These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. They worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men.”

The religious leaders of Jesus day had added many rules onto the Mosaic Law. Some of those rules distracted attention away from the weightier matters of the law, such as mercy, compassion, and love. Doctrines today that wrest importance from these things do not originate with God but with humans.

Now let us read James 1:26,27 to see other things that would make our worship without value – “If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, then his religion is useless and he deceives himself. Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

Here James mentions 3 things that could make all we do for God in vain: lack of control of our tongue, lack of charity, being stained by the world.

Many people may not consider controlling our tongue as part of our worship to God. But notice Jesus’ words at Matt. 12:36,37 – “I tell you that on the day of judgement people will have to account for every careless word they speak. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

If one uses his tongue to exalt himself, or to judge and condemn his brother especially over matters of conscience, he could be in the uncomfortable position of having his worship be useless. As imperfect humans all of us have to work on this. Sometimes it is a matter of simply counting to the proverbial 10 before responding. When others hurt or offend us the tendency is to lash out and use our tongue as a weapon. In many congregations this is the biggest problem. The next time before responding in anger or judging our brother let us remember this text.

Our worship could also be without value if we forget the vulnerable. Humanitarian work and charitable actions is what should most identify the follower of Jesus. Some may not consider charity as worship but the bible lets us know differently. The christian who ignores widows, orphans, and other needy ones wastes his time in worshipping God, because his worship is without value.

James also says we must keep ourselves unstained by the world. The world is ignorant of biblical standards or chooses not to follow them. Greed is the order of the day. One can look at Wall Street to see the result of unharnessed greed. Fleshly desire is the normal state of affairs in this world. Let us show by our actions and choice of entertainment that we are unstained by this world. It is impossible to be a “worldly” christian if we want to please God.

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7 Comments on Valueless Worship

  1. serein says:

    what entertainment do you sugest is not good and what is ok, my opinion on things may differ from others like i like watching fantasy,i like watching sci fi,i remember once asking a sis if i could take her son of 11 to see a spider man film with my son and she said no hes not aload to watch films like that,i also had a let down from another as my daughter liked harry potter shes all grown now and dosnt do spells or read up on them not trying to be funny but thats what the sis at the time said would happen and was realy against it,i also got told i couldnt listen to rock music pop music or any other kind of music and it was best to listen to music like the songs from kingdom hall, im not stupid i do know which music isnt good and which is ok,i was frownd apon,ands im telling u im a very old fashioned person when it comes to music,my fav film at the moment is ,knowing, and i want to watch tron, am i wrong is it worldy/ i dont think it is, im a grounded person with strong morals and i also love god very much,i care about people and im very kind, i love nature and the world around me,but im a lover of films i love the thought of fairys and how cool it would be if they were real i know its all storys but i like it and i colect fairy figurens and i love buterflys i colect things like taht im a story teller dont write books but i love to make storys up for my kids and im a dreamer, am i worldly no i dont think so,i think being stained by the world is when u are a greedy person always striving for beter for more being abusive unkind thoughtless puffed up with pride hatfull nasty, a drug addict a theaf a murder what ever thats worldly but being told u cant watch a film being told u cant listen to msic being told u cant dress in cothes u like thats not good, i got told off at hall once by my mother inlaw just cos my top wasnt up to my neck and my skirt was on my knees instead of below them, another sis told me to ignore her and said i always dressed nice and i should keep my inderviduality cos that was me,im modest and not rude i dont swear i dont have worldly freinds i dont even have any freinds bt i love films, so tell me how far do u go when it comes to entertainment, i dont go to pubs or clubs i dont go to partys,i like lord of the rings and im reading a book called goblins does that make me bad does that mean im worldly no, worldly is being in the world being around people who arnt nice who dont love god who are oposite to me,i do do that im seperate from the world as a people but im free to dream im free to watch and im free to like what i choose to like, am i doomed, no,my son like role play games is he doomed no cos its a game its not real hes not bad,god wants us to be happy to he dosnt want us doged down with no happyness with nothing,only worship worship worship,he gave us the world to discover to invent to prosper he wants us to have it he just dosnt want us to forget who gave it to us and to be loving and thats my opinion,but dont take it the wrong way anyone,im poor and have nothing, but id love it if i had a bit more,its not worldly to want to live in comfort its not worldly to want stuff its worldly to be greedy to be selfish well anyways im not going on,hope u get my meaning

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    • andrew says:

      Entertainment is a personal decision. I also like sci-fi by the way. My conscience cannot rule your conscience.
      Rom 14:12 – “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God”
      Rom 14:13 – “Therefore, let us no longer criticize one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in your brother’s way.”

      Part of becoming a spiritual adult is deciding for ourselves what is beneficial and what is better to avoid. After all if we willingly take in any and all entertainment this world offers us no matter how immoral or violent, we are the ones who will respond to God why we did this when we know full well what pleases him. If our conscience tells us to avoid a certain movie, do it. If we are with others that are hypersensitive to this, let us show love and not stumble them by suggesting a movie that would offend them.

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      • Jolly Roger says:

        Andy, I agree most wholeheartedly. This is a most excellent point of view as to how a true Christian should respect not only himself, but others as well. True “Christian” love, as you very ably point out, is what should motivate us to give precedence to the well-being of others:

        “If our conscience tells us to avoid a certain movie, do it. If we are with others that are hypersensitive to this, let us show love and not stumble them by suggesting a movie that would offend them.” – Very well said.

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  2. serein says:

    i feel bad now,am i realy bad, should i sort my head out and be carful,i feel thoe that im ok, tell me when u read my post did u think me a worldly person from it, i hope im not, if i am then tell me should i be more carful in what i like and watch,

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    • Jolly Roger says:

      serein, why do you feel “bad”? You ask if I think that you are a “worldly person” because you wrote the truth; well, you tell me, if we were speaking about another person instead of you, would you think that person was worldly? Here is another question: why do you care if I think that you are worldly? If I do, who is to say that I have the authority or wisdom to pronounce anyone “worldly”?

      This direction of discussion is going to quickly devolve into a “chicken or the egg” type argument because it is completely subjective, it is, in reality, about personal taste.

      The sister who wouldn’t let her child watch “Spiderman” because of whatever haunted her dreams at night, was probably not being completely honest with you or herself. First of all, if she truly believed that her little snowflake wouldn’t manage to watch “Spiderman” somewhere, sometime if he really, really, really wanted to, then she is, I’m afraid, an idiot. From my experience, the sister was very subtly telling you how “Christian” she was by denying her child “for his own good”. Further, if by chance her little Johnny does come home from 7th grade with needle marks down his arm and a double dose of AIDs and gonorrhea, she can tell herself, “Oh, I’m not guilty, I don’t know what more I could’ve done. I mean, I made sure he didn’t watch any ‘bad’ movies.” And, serein, that sister is displaying much more of a definitive example of being “worldly” than watching back to back Spiderman 1, 2, AND 3 (BTW, Spiderman 3 stunk, as far as I was concerned). How is she displaying a worldly attitude? because it places the blame on THINGS and not PEOPLE. I assume that you are living in the USA, and I don’t know if you have noticed or not, but as long as the average American has some THING to blame, they feel that they are “magically” guiltless.

      Jesus held the Jewish religion industry with contempt and disgust throughout his stay on this planet, and one of the primary reason’s that he hated them was because they used Jehovah’s law as a weapon. The priests and their henchmen didn’t see the law as a means of guiding people, to help them be safer, more healthy, happier human beings, striving to show love to one another as often as their Heavenly Father showed love to them. Nope, those snakes used the law as a burdensome weight, to keep the people down, to use as an excuse to extort, bribe, steal whatever they wanted. As Jesus told them, “It’s bad enough that you don’t believe in the Kingdom of Heaven and refuse to take advantage of it’s mercy when it is offered to you, but you do everything you can to prevent anyone else from entering it if they want to!”

      However, if you find your daughter staring at the cat and when you ask her she is doing she tells you, “I’m trying to kill the cat with my mind.” you might have a talk with her.(I’m kidding!)

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  3. serein says:

    lol you made me laugh,im not worldy i know im not, not to me anyways, im in uk by the way,all my kids are very grounded, and good kids,respectable,but i must admit when i was at hall they always told me that they felt left out and would say theres been an outing or party and theyd not got invited, it made me feel like i wasnt good person and they wernt but they are and they all, well my 3 big kids all grew up to be very good kind people,and i do know that some of the kids that grew up with them have turned out not so good and they were not aload to do anything, maybe depriving them makes em want it more when they are older,u know worldy films what ever they wernt alowed to do or see, one sis turned out to be so bad she even dressed like a witch i think u call em goths, so in the end it is the person and not the world who makes them that way.

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  4. greybeard says:

    JR,

    Me thinks Jesus never “hated” anyone. Only the wrong that they did. TMHO

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